Results from Visioning
Our Administrative Council gathered on May 12, 2014 to envision what our church could be. We prayed together, read from the Book of Romans, chapter 12, and envisioned the Kingdom of God. Here is our vision.
We want our church to be a reflection of the Kingdom of God on earth. A place where people of all ages, nations, and races are welcomed with joy, treated with equality, and embraced as family; a place where people are uplifted, can join hands, and be passionate for Christ; a place where Christians are mentors for each other, helping others grow in their relationship with Jesus; a place where people are not only treated with equality, but are truly equal as we are in the eyes of God; a place where we can have unity in love without uniformity in looks or thinking.
Jesus Christ is on His throne in the kingdom of God, at the center and heart of the kingdom. Jesus welcomes all with a smile and arms open wide. He accepts us as we are, sinners broken and flawed, but Jesus does not expect us to stay that way. He offers forgiveness, grace and mercy. He forgives the sinners, heals the broken, and mends the flawed. Jesus changes lives.
We want Jesus to be in the center of all that we do. He is our beating heart. His blood is our lifeblood. We want to be more like Jesus, welcoming all with open arms, accepting people as they are, offering forgiveness, grace, and mercy.
We want our place of worship to be a window into the kingdom of God, a beautiful place filled with light, and music, and smiling faces; a place with rays of light, colors, brilliant, iridescent, and open; a place of flowers and bells where people lift their hands in worship and join their hands in prayer; a place where we can bask in the warmth of God’s presence.
We want the people who come to Bethel UMC to feel joy, strong, calm, and beautiful. We want people to feel peaceful, warm, and caring. We want the people to feel welcomed, loved, and respected.
This is a beautiful vision of our church. To many of us we already see our church this way. However, there is always room for improvement.
Our vision is to be a reflection of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Our mission statement is, “Bethel UMC is a community of faith where all God’s children are welcomed at table, nurtured and transformed to be Christ to the world.”
Our next step is to share our vision and then set goals that will bring us closer to being the kingdom of God on earth.
13506 Minnieville Road (at the corner of Smoketown and Minnieville Roads)
Woodbridge, VA 22192
From I-95 take Exit #158 (Prince William Parkway) towards Manassas. After about 1 mile on the Parkway, turn right (west) onto Smoketown Rd. Bethel UMC is located at the intersection of Minnieville and Smoketown Roads
Meet Our Staff!
- Reverend Matt Benton, Pastor
Matt is a native of Northern Virginia having grown up in West Springfield where he attended Messiah UMC. He was active in their youth program after walking on Chrysalis 50 and participated in numerous youth mission trips. He is a proud graduate of West Springfield High School (go Spartans!) and the University of Virginia (wahoowa!). He majored in religious studies. In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his family, and watching Washington's underachieving sports teams. Matt completed his seminary education at Wesley Theological Seminary and has been a pastor in Northern Virginia since 2011. He served Trinity UMC in Alexandria as an Associate Pastor, and Spirit and Life Church in Woodbridge as a Lead Pastor.
Matt married Emily Benton in 2011. Emily is a high school math teacher at West Springfield High School. She, too, grew up in Northern Virginia, graduating from Robinson Secondary School in Burke before going to the UVA. Matt and Emily have two sons, Patrick, who loves trains, books and games, and Evan, who loves balls, music, and his big brother.
- Debbie Devendorf, Administrative Assistant
- Karen Johnston, Financial Secretary
- Joe Swetnam, Music Director/Organist
- Brandon Boling, Choir Director
- Susan Vieregge, Nursery Director
- Jordan Johnson, Nursery Worker
- Patty Lober, Nursery Worker